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Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB), Marsh & McLennan Companies’ (MMC) international employee benefits business, in February 2019 appointed Hervé Balzano as Leader of MMB International, based in London. He reports to Flavio Piccolomini, President of Marsh’s International Division, and Martine Ferland, President and CEO-elect of Mercer. Balzano will be responsible for ensuring MMB meets increasing demand for health and employee benefits, especially in global growth markets, as well as enabling firms

A London judge in February 2019 ruled that a European Union agency, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), could not use Brexit to break its lease. The EMA is moving its 900-people headquarters to Amsterdam, The Netherlands as a direct result of Brexit. It has a 25-year lease for 10 floors in a building in London’s Eastern financial district, Canary Wharf, with 21 years to run. The European agency pays

AXA XL in February 2019 announced it would shed over 700 jobs in Europe. AXA XL has 9,500 staff worldwide. AXA’s business insurance division will end 275 positions in the UK, 222 in France, 140 in Germany, 41 in Italy, and 33 more across the rest of Europe. The move is a step in the integration of XL Catlin, AXA Corporate Solutions, and other AXA entities into AXA XL.

Fitbit in February 2019 launched a new fitness tracker, the Inspire, which is available through health and wellness providers only. From a consumer perspective, the Inspire is a fully subsidized (i.e. free) product intended to be distributed in mass quantities and is promoted “as a way to encourage the well-being of health care recipients”. The tracker monitor activity and sleep, calories burned, and prompts wearers with reminders to get

Gatehouse in February 2019 released its 2019 State of the Sector Report. A member of global brokerage Gallagher, London, UK-based Gatehouse is an internal communication agency providing consultancy on internal communications research. With over 820 responses from 40 countries, the report surveys the internal communication and employee engagement landscape. It also provides internal communications strategists with insights into careers, budgets and working practices, as well as insight into what

France in February 2019 published transitional (or emergency) measures related to insurance in case of a no-deal Brexit. As per the new rules, contracts may not be amended if additional premiums are collected renewals, including automatic renewals are not allowed payment of claims will not be considered a breach for at least the first 12 months The new rules apply to contracts covering French risks and entered into before

InsurTech Oscar Health in February 2019 named Sid Sankaran CFO, reporting to CEO Mario Schlosser. He succeeds Brian West. Sankaran joins from American International Group (AIG) where he was CFO and earlier, chief risk officer. Prior to AIG, he worked for consulting firm Oliver Wyman as a partner in the Finance and Risk practice in Toronto, Canada; and Mercer Risk, Finance & Insurance Consulting and MMC Enterprise Risk. He

Generali Global Assistance (GGA) in February 2019 announced the acquisition of U.S. travel insurance specialist TripMate. GGA is Europ Assistance’s main brand name outside of Europe, and Europ Assistance is part of Generali Group. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, TripMate is a specialized provider of travel insurance products. It acts as a managing general agent (MGA), operating as an intermediary between travelers and the U.S. travel insurance market. It

The 8th edition of the World Pensions Forum will be held in Brussels on 23 and 24 May 2019. The forum will focus on pension investments, financial regulation, and risk management in the post-Brexit era. It also will address the evolving fiduciary role of pension executives and trustees – notably corporate governance, green growth, and women’s economic empowerment. Furthermore, UK, US, Canadian and European Union policy makers, financial regulators

Jean-Baptiste Ramboz in January 2019 joined Chubb as Head of Corporate and Multinational Business Development, Accident & Health (A&H). He is based in Paris, France. Ramboz joins Chubb from UNIQA where he was Head of marketing and sales, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Previously, he was head of the insurance division of broker Assor Russia in Moskow, Russia; and Insurance manager for haulage company Norbert Dentressangle, now XPO, based in

AXA Egypt in February 2019 joined pooling network MAXIS Global Benefits Network (MAXIS GBN). AXA Egypt is the second MAXIS partner in the country, along MetLife Egypt, and joins the global network of over 140 local insurers. AXA Egypt was established as recently as 2015 and is a multi-line insurance carrier, offering general insurance, life and protection insurance, health insurance, and micro-insurance plans. The company is ranked fourth in

Gallagher in February 2019 announced the expansion of the IBIS Academy conference with an Employment Law Symposium. The new track is in addition to the 2-day Conference, the 5-day Institute, and the 3-day Mobility modules. It is designed specifically for employment law practitioners and HR professionals with a particular focus on global employment law. Topics include: Is the law up-to-date with today’s flexible workplaces and forms of work (i.e.,

Francoise Ah-Kuit in January 2019 joined cosmetics distributor Sephora (a member of LVMH Group) as Global Compensation & Benefits Project Director. She is based in Paris, France. She joins Sephora from Van Cleef & Arpels where she was International Compensation & Benefits Director. Earlier, she was Compensation and Benefits Manager at Moët Hennessy, and an MBA Intern in International Benefits & Mobility Management at Louis Vuitton. Previously, she was

Google parent Alphabet in August 2018 invested  $375 million in InsurTech Oscar Health, giving Alphabet a 10 percent share in Oscar. Google employee and former CEO Salar Kamangar joins the board of directors. Google had previously invested in Oscar through its Capital G investment fund and Verily health and life sciences research unit. An earlier $165 million round in March 2018 valued the company at around $3 billion; the